Has your Mailbox evolved with the times or is it stuck in the past?

Ross MacKenzie
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The modern mailbox has come a long way — has your company come with it, or are you still stuck in the past?

Do you remember the first release of Microsoft Exchange? We do. It was 1996, the year we started Cobweb. Built on a single user database with a streamlined client-server topology, it was clear even then that the product had the potential to be a big improvement over the patchwork of email systems available at the time.

New versions steadily added the features that the market demanded but the original had lacked: for instance, support for the IMAP messaging protocol, tighter integration with LDAP, larger databases, the ability to host multiple domains.

But along with these important back-end changes, the user experience was also undergoing a rapid evolution. Exchange started to play nicely with other products. It would, for instance, notify you when you had a voicemail or missed call on Lync. You could even set up rules telling Outlook to forward Lync calls to colleagues as part of your Outlook out-of-office notifications.

And yet, some very important communications functions remained unintegrated. The conf call was now a staple of business life, as was screen sharing, instant messaging, and live collaborative working on Microsoft Office documents. But all of these functions were taken care of by separate applications, each with its own support requirements and end-user learning curve.

With Skype for Business, you get full integration between Exchange, Outlook, and your company’s phone and instant-messaging communications. You can schedule conf calls and even webinars directly from Outlook, share and collaborate on version-controlled Office documents, access your company’s Exchange directories and also the Skype directory for non-company contacts (though, you can also stop people doing this, or limit their ability to do it).

The mailbox is no longer an isolated application, working at arm’s length from the rest of the company. With Skype for Business, it becomes the integrated hub for your company communications.

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